And he said to them, When you pray, say, Our Father which are in heaven, Hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done…
I. WHAT IS MEANT BY THE NAME OF GOD.
1. God Himself. Names are put for persons.
2. Everything whereby He makes Himself known to His creatures.
II. IN WHAT SENSE GOD'S NAME IS TO BE HALLOWED OR SANCTIFIED. Not effectively. "Holy is His name"; it cannot be made more so.
2. But manifestly and declaratively, viz., when the holiness of His name is manifested, declared, shown, and acknowledged, "They shall sanctify My name" (Isaiah 29:23). The holy name in the dark parts of the earth and in the dark men of the earth is a candle under a bushel; it has a glorious light, but it is not seen; the bushel being removed, and the splendour breaking forth to open view, it is hallowed; men then show, declare, and acknowledge it.
III. WHY GOD'S NAME IS SAID TO BE HALLOWED OR SANCTIFIED RATHER THAN GLORIFIED.
1. Because God's holiness is His glory in a peculiar manner.
2. Because it is the manifesting of His holiness, in the communicating of it to the creature, that brings in the greatest revenue of glory from the creature to God. The truth is, none are fit to glorify Him but those who are holy (1 Peter 2:9).
IV. THE IMPORT OF THIS PETITION God's name is hallowed —
1. By Himself, manifesting the glory of His holy name. And this He doth in all the discoveries which He makes of Himself to His creatures.
2. By His creatures, they contributing to His glory, by showing forth His praise, and declaring the glory of His name. So we pray in this petition.
(1) That God would by His overruling providence hallow His own name and glorify Himself (John 12:28).
(2) That God would by His powerful grace cause the sons of men, ourselves and others, to glorify Him and hallow His name.
V. WHY IS THIS PETITION PUT BY OUR SAVIOUR FIRST INTO OUR MOUTHS? The reason is, because the glory of God or honour of His name is the chief end of our being and of all others. And therefore it should lie nearest our hearts (Romans 11:36). Inferences —
1. The dishonour done to God by one's own sin and the sins of others must needs go near the heart of a saint (Psalm 51:4).
2. Habitual profaners of that holy name are none of the children of God, whose main care is to get that name hallowed.
3. Holiness is the creature's glory, and its greatest glory, for it is God's glory, and therefore unholiness is its disgrace and dishonour.
(T. Boston, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.